‘The Expulsive Power of a New Affection’

Desiring God | 10/21/2019 | John Piper
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Christian Hedonism asserts that the most effective way to kill our own sin is by the power of a superior pleasure. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it is more pleasant or less painful than the way of righteousness. So bondage to sin is broken by a stronger attraction — a more compelling joy.

Two hundred years ago, Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) wrote one of the most famous defenses of this truth. It was called “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” We believe you would profit from knowing the man and this remarkable message.

Christ - Pastorate - Kilmany - Scotland - Chalmers

Converted to Christ while already in the pastorate (1810) in Kilmany, Scotland, Chalmers eventually became professor of moral philosophy in the University of St. Andrews, and then professor of theology in the University of Edinburgh.

His influence in church and politics in Scotland was so extensive that according to geologist Hugh Miller, Chalmers “may be said to have created than to have belonged to an era.” And William Gladstone, Britain’s foremost political leader of the century, called him “a man greatly lifted out of the region of mere flesh and blood” (Mark Noll, “Thomas Chalmers in North America,” 763). On his death, one estimate was that half the population of Edinburgh attended his funeral (764).

Professorship - St - Andrews - Passion - Missions

During his professorship at St. Andrews, his passion for global missions was so inspiring that six of his best students dedicated themselves to missions, resulting in 141 years of combined missionary service (St. Andrews Seven).

Though he was influential in geology and astronomy, Christian apologetics, relief for the poor, economics, Calvinistic orthodoxy, and ecclesiastical leadership (helping create the Free Church of Scotland), nevertheless, it was the force of his words that gave effect to all of these engagements.

AC - Cheyne - Power - Wizardry - Noll

According to A.C. Cheyne, his oratorical power “bordered on wizardry” (Noll, 764). William Wilberforce wrote in...
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